Clean and Confident: Impact of Sterile Instrument Processing Workshops on Knowledge and Confidence in Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Surgical infections Harrell Shreckengost, C. S., Starr, N., Negussie Mammo, T., Gebeyehu, N., Tesfaye, Y., Belayneh, K., Tara, M., Lima, I., Jenkin, K., Fast, C., Weiser, T. G. 1800


Background: Proper sterilization of surgical instruments is essential for safe surgery, yet re-processing methods in low-resource settings can fall short of standards. Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops in Ethiopia and El Salvador instructed participants in sterile processing concepts and prepared participants to teach others. This study examines participants' knowledge and confidence post-TOT workshop, and moreover discusses subsequent non-TOT workshops and observed sterile processing practices. Methods: Five TOT workshops were conducted between 2018 and 2020 in Ethiopia and Central America. Participant trainers then led nine non-TOT workshops in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Interactive sessions covered instrument cleaning, packaging, disinfection, sterilization, and transportation. Participants completed pre- and post-tests, demonstrated skill competencies, and shared feedback. Peri-operative sterile processing metrics were also observed in Ethiopian hospitals pre- and post-workshops. Results: Ninety-five trainees participated in TOT workshops, whereas 169 participated in non-TOT workshops. Knowledge on a 10-point scale increased substantially after all training sessions (+2.3±2.8, +2.9±1.7, and 2.7±2.5 after Ethiopian, Central American, and non-TOT workshops, respectively; all p<0.05). Scores on tests of sterile processing theory also increased (Ethiopian TOT, +68%±92%; Central American TOT, +26%±20%; p<0.01). Most respondents felt "very confident" about teaching (Ethiopian TOT, 72%; Central American TOT, 83%; non-TOT, 70%), whereas fewer participants felt "very confident" enacting change (Ethiopian TOT, 36%; Central American TOT, 58%; non-TOT, 38%). Reasons included resource scarcity and inadequate support. Nonetheless, observed instrument compliance improved after Ethiopian TOT workshops (odds ratio [OR], 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-1.78; p<0.01). Conclusions: Sterile processing workshops can improve knowledge, confidence, and sterility compliance in selected low- and middle-income countries. Training of Trainers models empower participants to adapt programs locally, enhancing sterile processing knowledge in different communities. However, national guidelines, physical and administrative resources, and long-term follow-up must improve to ensure effective sterile processing.

View details for DOI 10.1089/sur.2021.187

View details for PubMedID 35076317